La General Hospital Hardest Hit By Cholera

A visit to some health facilities in the metropolis has revealed that the La General Hospital remains the hardest hit with the recent outbreak of cholera cases in the Greater Accra Region. As of yesterday, the hospital had recorded 701 cases out of which nine had lost their lives. On Thursday alone, 36 new cases were recorded, a situation the Senior Health Service Administrator at the hospital, Mr Philip Afeti Korto, described as alarming, adding that the staff of the hospital were overwhelmed. He said it was alarming and unfortunate because “I thought with the education that has been going on people will be able to detect cholera cases early. However, the numbers keep increasing by the day.” Late arrivals Mr Korto explained that most of the cases were brought in late, citing, for instance, that out of the nine deaths, five were brought in dead. He expressed concern that most families kept their relatives at home and treated them with ORS, hoping that they would be cured and brought them to the hospital when they were very dehydrated. Over-stretched Mr Korto explained that in view of the increasing number of cases, the hospital was under serious pressure for space and was running out of most of the needed medical items for treatment. In addition, he said the staff were over-stretched because “at times, a doctor who is supposed to close at 2 p.m. sometimes has to stay until 7 p.m. and yet is supposed to be on duty in the morning the following day.” Mr Korto advised the general public to desist from eating outside, especially at unhygienic places, and also boil drinking water if the source was unknown. Maamobi General Hospital At the Maamobi General Hospital, the Disease Control Officers, Mr Ernest Owusu and Mr Dominic Amoako, told the Daily Graphic that so far the hospital had recorded 216 cases with three deaths. They explained that the numbers were low because the Public Health Directorate of the Ayawaso Municipality embarked on an early public sensitisation to the imminent outbreak of cholera. “That has helped us a lot and has reduced the mortality rate because many of the cases were brought in early,” Mr Owusu explained. Ridge Hospital OPD At the out-patient department (OPD) of the Ridge Hospital at Adabraka, the Head of Department, Dr Ebenezer Oduro-Mensah, said since June 26, 2014 when the hospital recorded the first cholera case, the number had risen to 470 with four deaths. He explained that in June the hospital recorded five cases but the figure rose to 228 in July, cumulating to the 470 as of August 15, 2014. Dr Oduro-Mensah said the cholera bay of the hospital could not contain the influx of the patients, resulting in the conversion of part of the OPD to a cholera bay. He was happy that the reported cases currently were at their initial stages, thereby reducing the number of days patients spent in the hospital. “When the disease broke out, people were in a state of denial as nobody wanted to be told that he or she had cholera, but with the public education, people now feel free to report the moment they start vomiting or passing watery stool,” he explained.